|2002-03||1. FC Köln||4||0||1||0||0||0||1|
|2004-06||SG Dynamo Dresden||60||16||2||0||2||0||1|
|2006-07||1. FC Nürnberg||12||1||4||2||0||0||2|
For most of us the “Australian Jesus” burst on the scene when he came on as a substitute in the famous 2006 World Cup win over Japan. Josh had only made his full debut for the Socceroos three days earlier in an international friendly against Liechtenstein and playing in Germany made him largely unknown to most Australians. It appeared his mere presence as someone who towered over his smaller Japanese opponents changed the dynamics of the match. From a Socceroo perspective he went on to play a further eight years including scoring the goal that confirmed Australia’s qualification for the FIFA 2014 Brasil World Cup. His biggest club success was the five years he spent with Nagoya Grampus in the J-League and items from his time in Japan are a major contributor to the volume, variety and quality of items in this collection.
Like many other Socceroos of his generation, after playing football locally he spent time with the Australian Institute of Sport before playing in the National Soccer League. In Josh’s case he only played four games with Carlton S.C. in the 1999-2000 season before moving to Germany and joining VfL Wolfsburg for the 2000-01 Bundesliga season. The first Kennedy item in the collection is an official squad card with a portrait picture of a very young, clean shaven & short haired Josh (pictured right). He played another season at VfL Wolfsburg but the collection does not have the official club card.
For the 2002-03 season Josh played for then regional Bundesliga club Stuttgarter Kickers where he had 23 appearances. The collection again has his official club card. Similarly in 2002-03 he played for 1. FC Köln and made only four first team appearances. He spent most of his time playing reserve football but nevertheless the collection has the official club card from that year. The following year he transferred Bundesliga 2 club SG Dynamo Dresden. There are the two official club cards as well as two matchday magazines from his two seasons. Of most interest is from the April 2004 program that includes a match report from the previous outing against TSV Munchen 1860 where there is a picture of Kennedy watching Socceroo and TSV striker Paul Agostino kiss his goal scoring teammate.
On June 7th he made his full international debut against Liechtenstein after first playing for the Socceroos against Dutch semi-professional club VV Kloetinge on the 4th June. The collection does not have any items from either of his debuts.
From the 2006 FIFA World Cup there is the tournament programme, media guide and matchday programmes and tickets from his two matches against Japan and Croatia. The most interesting and only specific Kennedy item is a Hong Kong Telecom phonecard that shows Croatian player, but Australian born, Joe Šimunić tackling Josh Kennedy in his second World Cup match.
At the end of the World Cup Kennedy joined Bundesliga club, 1. FC Nürnberg. From the 2006/07 season the collection includes the Josh Kennedy official club card, his first Panini sticker and the only Quartett card. The Quartett cards series were produced for most major German clubs and are a trading card game. It’s noticeable that the same portrait headshot of Josh is used on all three items!
In 2007/08 1. FC Nürnberg again produced their official club card and there is another Panini Kennedy sticker. This time at least the images are different! Also included in the collection is an unusual four sticker set of Nürnberg’s squad and its worth noting that fellow Australian’s and future Socceroos Dario Vidosic and Matthew Spiranovic are also in the picture. Probably the best card from Kennedy’s time at Nürnberg is a card that was only available at the club shop and shows Josh in action.
In the Winter transfer window of 2008 he transferred to fellow Bundesliga club Karlsruher FC. This was would be his sixth and his last German club over a period of nine years. Even with only half the season remaining Karlsruher FC still produced a well designed Josh Kennedy official club card. For the 2008/09 season there is another official club card, Panini sticker and for the first and only Topps Bundesliga card.
From a Socceroo perspective Josh did not play in the 2007 Asian Cup Finals due to injury. The collection includes the programme from the only international match he played in 2007. It was the international friendly against Argentina at the MCG in front of a crowd of 70,000. In 2008 he played in six matches and scored four goals and there is one ticket and four programmes from these friendlies and World Cup qualifiers.
Similarly for 2009 there are four programmes, a Japanese flyer and a matchday ticket from the seven games he played. In 2008 and 2009 Australia’s premier card company Select issued Socceroo & A-League cards that included a Josh Kennedy card and Futera in 2009 issued its first Josh Kennedy card in this collection.
At the end of 2008-09 season Josh Kennedy secured a transfer from Karlsruher FC to Japanese J.League club Nagoya Grampus. The J.League is played on a calender year basis and despite the transfer occurring four months into the season there are four cards from the 2009 season including the limited edition Jersey card that is the featured index card above.
From the FIFA 2010 World Cup South Africa the collection includes the Tournament Programme, and tickets from Josh’s games against Ghana and Serbia. There are also three Kennedy cards, five stickers, a photocard, beer coaster and China Telecom card that has a Socceroo starting line-up including Joshua Kennedy. After the World Cup Kennedy played in an international friendly against Paraguay and the collection has “The Socceroo” matchday program. This was Australia’s first home match following the World Cup and the program is also the feature index item for the Tim Cahill collection.
The 2010 J. League season was a successful season for both Kennedy and Nagoya Grampus. Kennedy was joint winner of the Golden Boot, named in the J.Leagues best eleven and Nagoya Grampus won their first ever title. There are seven 2010 Kennedy trading cards in the collection. At the time major clubs would issue a Team based collection that would include usually three to four cards of each player. In Kennedy’s case there are four cards. Ensky a Japanese toy company also produced two cards. There is also one matchday card as well as two matchday programs that feature Josh on the cover and interviews inside.
In 2011 the J.League 1st edition cards in the collection comprise a base card (know as a Regular card in Japan), two cards commemorating Kennedy’s 2010 J.League Golden Boot award and Best Eleven award (featured right) as well as two jersey cards. The Nagoya Grampus Team team edition cards comprise a base card, goal getter card and a very nicely designed leading player card. There is also another matchday program with Josh on the cover and an interview inside. 2011 also saw Josh Kennedy again get picked in the J.League Best Eleven and this time be the outright winner of the Golden Boot award for top scorer.
From a Socceroo perspective 2011 was also a successful year for Kennedy. Playing in primarily World Cup Qualifiers he scored six goals in seven games. The collection includes four “The Socceroo” programmes two of which he appears on the cover. These two programmes are for the World Cup Qualifiers against Malaysia and Oman that were played only four days apart. Both programmes are nearly exactly the same with only the match details changed! In 2012 he did not play for the Socceroos which some of the time was due to AFC Champions League commitments.
Included in the Kennedy collection from a club collection perspective is the AFC Champions League 2012 Group Stage Official Programme. There is a one page feature on all 32 competing clubs including Kennedy’s Nagoya Grampus. The summary refers to Kennedy as one of the key Nagoya players and the focal point of their attack.
In 2012, the J.League 1st edition cards in the collection include the regular card and this time only one card recognising both his 2011 J.League Best Eleven & Golden Boot Awards (Pictured Left). Japanese Entertainment Group Konami also issued a set of J.League Allstar cards including a well designed one of Josh Kennedy that uses the same image as the 1st edition regular card. From the 2012 team edition the collection has the base and goal getters cards and from the J.League 2nd edition series there is a base card. The final 2012 Kennedy card is from the October J.League match against Yokahama F.Marinos.
The 2013 J.League 1st edition cards acknowledge the 20th Anniversary of the league and comprise a base card and a combined autographed Jersey card. Team edition cards in the collection comprise a base and limited edition autograph. This time it is Calabee, the Japanese Snack Food company that produced a J.League set including a Kennedy card. The collection also includes a matchday program, that Josh Kennedy has signed and there is the usual player interview with him.
From the 2013 Futera World Football Unique set there is a base Gold card and limited to 240, Ruby card that is pictured below. Unfortunately the collection does include any item from Australia’s final world cup qualifying match against Iraq where Josh replaced Tim Cahill in the 66th minute and seven minutes minutes later put is head on a cross from another 2006 World Cup veteran, Mark Breascino. The ball smashed into the back of the net and the Socceroos were on there way to the World Cup in Brasil. There are also two programmes from overseas friendlies against football powerhouses Brazil and France where Australia lost both matches 6-0 that subsequently saw coach Holger Osieck’s contract terminated. From two further friendlies against Canada there is the teamsheet and ticket and from the Costa Rica match “The Socceroo” programme.
2014 was Josh Kennedy’s last season in the J.League. The collection includes a base J-League card and from the Team Edition there are four cards comprising two base cards, limited edition Authentic Autograph Card & a Tough Staff card. Somehow I don’t think they got the interpretation from Japanese to English correct in that I asssume the meant Tough Player rather than staff’! The final Kennedy Nagoya Grampus card is from the Norwegian card company KickerZ that on the front has Kennedy in his Nagoya Grampus kit and the back has details of his Socceroo and club playing history.
In Australia in 2014, SE Products a new trading card company succeeded Select as the manufacturer of Socceroo and A-League cards. Most Australian collectors consider this set the best Australian card series. There are two Josh Kennedy cards from this set. The first is where he is part of a “Road to Rio” sub set that honours all players who participated in the World Cup Qualifiers for Brazil. The other card is from a Socceroos Take on The World Triple Threat sub set that comprises the eight players that had been to the two previous World Cups and may to Brazil. Both cards use images from Josh celebrating the goal against Iraq that took Australia to the Brasilian World Cup. The day after the international friendly ‘send off” match against South Africa on the 26th May 2014, and Kennedy’s last Socceroo match, there was a meet and greet session where fans could purchase a preliminary 30 man squad set that included a Kennedy card. While Kennedy did travel to Brasil and despite his best efforts and that of the medical staff he did not make the final world cup squad due to a recurring back injury.
In addition to three Australian produced cards, qualification for Brasil added two cards and eight stickers to the Kennedy collection. The two cards are from a very nicely designed anonymous Argentinian set and from the Peruvian company, Capri International (formerly Navarrete). The same image of Kennedy is also used on three Navarrete stickers. The other five stickers comprise the Panini International and Swiss editions of World Cup squad stickers, RAFO and Capri International stickers with Robbie Kruse and a Topps England sticker. There is also two anonymous tags and a mini-cap from Greece. These items also use the same Kennedy celebration image.
In 2015 Kennedy returned to Australia after 15 years playing overseas and joined Melbourne City as the marquee player. Unfortunately he continued to be hampered by injury and after playing only twelve games and scoring two goals he retired. Currently the final item in the collection is a 2016-17 Membership Card where I took the opportunity to create a unique card using Melbourne City’s official retirement announcement after members were allowed to provide a picture for their own personalised card.
Published: 12th September 2021